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Orange County baseball preview: Capistrano Valley’s Nathan Manning expects to shine brightest on the diamond

02/12/2019, 5:45pm PST
By Steve Fryer

Orange County baseball preview: Capistrano Valley’s Nathan Manning expects to shine brightest on the diamond


Capistrano Valley High outfielder Nathan Manning in Mission Viejo on Monday, January 28, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

By  | | Orange County Register

PUBLISHED: February 12, 2019 at 5:33 pm | UPDATED: February 12, 2019 at 5:47 pm






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Capistrano Valley High outfielder Nathan Manning in Mission Viejo on Monday, January 28, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Football is for fun. Baseball is for the future.

Nathan Manning was an All-CIF quarterback this past fall at Capistrano Valley.



He finished fourth among Orange County quarterbacks in passing yardage, with 3,497. Manning’s 49 touchdown passes were the fourth-most among O.C. quarterbacks. He helped the Cougars reach the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 semifinals.

And he signed with Cal as a baseball player. Manning was All-CIF in baseball, too, as an outfielder last spring. He was a key contributor as Capistrano Valley won the CIF-SS Division 1 championship, perhaps the most-challenging championship to win in CIF team sports.

Manning, an excellent defensive center fielder, batted .392 with 40 hits and 13 RBIs last season.

O.C. BASEBALL PREVIEW: Baseball preview notebook | Top 10 teams | Top players to watch

He said it’s difficult to choose if baseball or football is his favorite sport.

“I guess I have to say it’s the sport I’m going to play in college,” Manning said.

Capistrano Valley baseball has a new head coach, Adam Sorgi. A Capistrano Valley alum, Sorgi replaces Bob Zamora who resigned after the 2018 season, Zamora’s 41st season as the Cougars leader. Zamora, who coached Capo Valley to 746 wins, 17 league championships and six CIF championships, remains on staff as an assistant coach.


Manning figures the Cougars will be just fine in 2019.

“We do have a lot of new players,” Manning said. “But I also think we have a ton of talent. The only thing we’re really lacking is experience.”

Nathan’s father Tim was a terrific athlete at Trabuco Hills. Tim was best known as a defensive back – his 23 career interceptions is No. 2 in county football history – and also was the quarterback on Trabuco Hills’ 1989 CIF-SS championship team. Tim, a fine basketball player, too, went to Cal on a football scholarship.

Nathan started going to Cal athletic events before he was in kindergarten.

“I’ve been around there my whole life,” he said. “When I was up there for my recruiting visit, they wanted to show me around. I said, ‘No, that’s OK, I’m good.’ ”

Nathan said he learned much from his father about the mental side of sports.

“’Don’t get too high on yourself,’” Nathan said. “He tells me there’s always room to improve no matter what success you’ve had.”

Manning has had plenty of sports success with perhaps more to come this baseball season.

Around the horn:

• In addition to the coaching change at Capistrano Valley is this notable one: Burt Call, whose contract was not renewed at Mater Dei after last season, is the new coach at Villa Park. Former Saddleback Vallley Christian coach Richard Mercardo, a Mater Dei alum, replaced Call at Mater Dei. …

• The Newport Elks and Loara tournaments, annually the biggest early-season tournaments in county baseball, begin Thursday, Feb. 14. Weather permitting, of course … and the weather has not done much permitting since the CIF-SS season officially opened Saturday. …

• The Bora Classic’s Southern California tournament begins March 26 at host schools JSerra and Mater Dei. Among the teams in it are La Mirada, the No. 4 team in’s California preseason top 25, Cypress, Huntington Beach and Orange Lutheran. …

• O.C. teams in the state preseason top 25 are No. 3 Orange Lutheran, No. 6 Huntington Beach, No. 16 Beckman, No. 20 JSerra and No. 23 Capistrano Valley. …

• The new eight-school Sunset Conference divides its teams into its baseball leagues this way: the Surf League, the conference’s upper league, has Edison, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach and Los Alamitos; the Wave League has Corona del Mar, Laguna Beach, Marina and Newport Harbor.

• The eight-school Century Conference baseball groupings: the Crestview League, the conference’s upper league, has Canyon, El Dorado, El Modena and Foothill; the North Hills League has Brea Olinda, Esperanza, Villa Park and Yorba Linda. …

• The 10-school Coast View Conference’s baseball leagues: in the South Coast League, the Coast View’s upper league, are Capistrano Valley, Dana Hills, El Toro, Mission Viejo and Tesoro; the Sea View League has Aliso Niguel, Laguna Hills, San Clemente, San Juan Hills and Trabuco Hills. …

• Laguna Beach has won seven consecutive league championships including the Orange Coast League championship last season. …

• The season started early, and so will the CIF-SS playoffs. They begin with wild card-round games April 30 and May 1. The CIF-SS finals are May 17 and 18 at sites to be determined. …

• Last season’s CIF-SS champions were Capistrano Valley in Division 1; Yucaipa, Division 2; Maranatha, Division 3; La Quinta of La Quinta, Division 4; Temple City, Division 5; Pasadena Poly, Division 6; and Fillmore, Division 7.


Also, see the OC Top Players to watch list at:

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